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Saturday, April 2, 2011

What's wrong with education? Design!

  Our current design for national education was designed before the 20th century.  It allowed for general education but not much more; our needs were very different then.  Not everyone was expected to go to college or even become masters of industry.  The average Jane and John Doe were being educated so that they could read, write and perform basic math.  To be the best farmer or worker you needed these basics and you would be fine.  John could one day become a floor manager, Jane could run a store.  Sexism aside, they had the knowledge if they had the ability.  In this way, children could leave and go to work at the age of ability; 13 or so.  In this time kids were told to get an education and work hard!  The dream it seems was to apply to higher institutions to become doctors, lawyers, etc. 
  Education plans and curriculum were based upon material that taught basics and did not include much in the way of art or music.  They were not absent, but just not emphasized as much.  It was designed so that you could function in a rural or agrarian society without much trouble.  It was not great, but it got the job done it seems.  The attitude was of course what does a farmer or average industry worker need with medicine?  Biology?  Now let's fast-forward....
  The idea now is that we will educate all children the same.  All held to the same standard of excellence.  All held to the same idea that any child can become anything they want!  What a great society we live in that our children have this opportunity!  So why as a nation do we suck at education?  Has the government failed to provide for its youngest citizens?  Are parents failing in their most basic duty?  Maybe teachers no longer have the skills to produce good citizens?  The answer is all of the above.  The simpler answer lies in that we have failed to realize that education hasn't changed in over 100 years.  More later...

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